By the time March rolled around this year, my wife, our four kids and I had been living in my parent’s basement for about five months. And while I had landed enough writing projects to keep us afloat for a while, nothing felt very certain. Well, one thing felt certain: as long as I was trying to write for a living, we would never have enough security to get our own place.
So we just kept on living life. During the day I went to a cafe to write and Maile did her best to be a mom in a basement. This is not easy (the mom part – the cafe part is relatively pain free).
Then one day it hit me: we had to take another leap. Problem: I was getting tired of leaping. It seemed that no matter how many times I exhibited my faith in God, he kept asking us to take another leap. This was getting kind of old.
Yet there was also something exhilarating about it. Especially since every time we leaped, solid ground kept appearing under our feet. None of it really made sense. But a part of me was starting to enjoy the excitement.
This is where I learned a valuable lesson – you have to get out of your basement. What’s your basement? What’s keeping you confined simply because your scared or worried? Would a change require too much faith, too much self-belief, too much risk? We could have lived with my parents for a long, long time. I suppose some day they would have kicked us out, but we could have really drug that on for years. Then we got brave. We got kind of stupid. We decided to leave the basement.
So we got on the internet and found three places we liked. The first one smelled like dog. Wait – it didn’t just smell like dog, it smelled like five or six dogs had lived there, on their own, decorating the house with their hair, and in the end blowing themselves up in it. The second place was really cute but the rooms were tiny. Our queen-size bed would have had to be shoehorned in.
The realtor could sense our disappointment. She said there was one other place – it was a three-bedroom, kind of small but in the country. At first we ruled it out because it was a double-wide mobile home – Maile’s mom thought the next storm would sweep us off the face of the planet. We almost didn’t go look, but then we thought, what the heck.
It was perfect. The house was fine and in very good shape, but that’s not what we loved. What we loved was the fact that it was surrounded by fields and woods. There were two acres for the kids to run around on. A garden. A stream running along the back yard. And included in the rent was a huge barn, and I could set up my office in the workshop above it. No neighbors for miles (or at least none that we could see) – we had lived in townhouses for the previous six years, so we were excited to have some space.
One problem. Someone else was interested. And they probably had a real job. And real income. And when asked for annual salary figures, they probably didn’t mumble something along the lines of, “Oh, I don’t know, maybe mmmmfffpfff a month.”
So we had found the place we wanted to live, but we had to wait.
To read the very first segment of this story, which tells about how Maile and I made the decision to move from Virginia to Pennsylvania (and into my parent’s basement) click HERE.